Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Wrap up

On reflection of the internship at Ink & Spindle I felt that it was really valuable in learning aspects of how to run a small business. Lara and Caitlin were very approachable and happy to answer lots of questions and allowed me to try my hand at various tasks throughout the studio. I was great to see the physical workings of the printing process, be able to help with ink measuring and then to be able to learn some of he administrative requirements of running a business in the textiles print trade. Although my Fine Art work takes on many fabric and print aspects I am not necessarily inclined to take on commercial printing, but still appreciated many of the tips for small business that I was offered and a lot of advice on printing techniques that I will be able to take on in my own practice.

Here are pictures of some of the textile based works that I have in my oeuvre at present.

Utopia/Dystopia. Screen printed fabric assemblage.

'Fragments of the archive', 2014. Mixed media assemblage.

Flocking, foiling and print tries for textile and pattern design.

Repeat pattern, meterage at RMIT Brunswick Campus.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Final days of the internship.

During the final part of the Ink & Spindle internship we did more of the same work with screen washing, packaging orders for customers and fabric bundling for the showroom area. We also continued with preparations for the stencils we were going to make but unfortunately we were out of time at the end of the internship and didn’t get the opportunity to print them. This was a shame as they have so many great fabrics and lovely colours to choose from I was finding it hard to decide.

The company ran a Colourways competition where they uploaded new colours to their blog and instagram page and encouraged customers and viewers to follow the online prompts ad to create their own selection from fabric and colour combo and the prize will be a new edition of that range.
In order to help promote the colours that were part of the new range ‘Bluestone, Cockatoo, Audrey, River salt and Storm’ we did a photo shoot of some of the prints made into cushion covers. The warehouse where Ink & Spindle is situated in beautiful Kensington has a huge array of other creative professionals and in a nearby space there was an empty area with an industrial backdrop that suited the display and set up we were creating for the photoshoot. Here are some photos of the set up and the results.

Lara arranging the cushions for the photoshoot.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Reflecting on my time at Ink & Spindle.

Selection of books from the shelf

Art inspiration from Uppercase Magazine

Art inspiration from Uppercase Magazine
At the Ink & Spindle studios there is a plethora of reading material to flick through while waiting for a screen to dry or during a tea break, while surrounded by loads of great ink colours and designs and learning new techniques and opportunities it allowed me the time to consider what style of printing I want to hone in my practice as well as other avenues for business I may be interested in investing my time into.
Having come from an Illustration and Design background, but finding briefs and client work far too restrictive I felt that I sat alot more fluidly in the Fine Art realm. I had always wanted to study Fine Art but thought I could continue that direction on my own and perhaps university wasn't key.
My outlook on this has drastically changed, but I am still interested in mixing my Design and Illustration knowledge and aesthetic and using it to fuel larger scale concepts and ideas of print imaging that I have gained in the Fine Art world. I used some of the sources above to inspire ideas and wrote notes and took photos for my personal catalogue.

This internship has been core in allowing me to see the function of a small studio that has flourished and grown to become multi faceted and also a great supportive environment. While the designs and colours are fun and creative elements of the business and the printing days are skills based and hands on, there are also many adhoc elements of a small business that help to keep the flow of the day to day running from pattern cutting, packaging, post, promotion and website interaction with customers as well as having the showroom ready for drop ins. It was very interesting to see how the studio functions as a small business and how something like this may work in Melbourne, which is a very creative and supportive city to be residing.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Final week of internship

Cutting sample sheets that will go in the show room.
These are examples of Ink & Spindles new colour schemes on various designs.

Example of the sheets ready to be placed in the showroom area.
At my final week of the internship with Ink & Spindle I continued to wash out screens in the sink area, below are some pics of the large washout sink where the ink is filtered out and the screens are cleaned and then stored.
Screen wash out sink, large screen for print drying after washout.

I also cut fabrics to order and made remnant bundles from the glorious selection of patterns and designs in the studio. I wasn't able to print any of my designs as we were too tight for time, but as I have access to this at uni it wasn't detrimental, I would have loved to delve into their great colours though.

I got to learn the ink mixing process, they use permaset inks and medium and have an app that they have created with all th measurements for each colour in a table/formula - so I followed the steps to mix up some colour using their scales and mixer which was fun and here are some pics.
Mixer for ink, and formula sheet.
Lara mixing one of the colours.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Swatch printing, sketch books and remnant bundling.

Ink & Spindle have a new range of colours available that they have mixed and set up for order online.
- Riversalt
- Audrey (red)
- Bluestone
- Copper &
- Storm.
I did swatches for these prints this week. Customers ring up to request their colour of choice on a fabric swatch which they can choose from Cream, Unbleached, Oatmeal and Flax and these are the 4 materials used to create the rolls. Customers are able to customize their own from the website on other fabrics but these were the 4 prominent ones.
I spent much of the day cleaning out screens and scraping ink back into pots and various adhoc duties such as fabric cutting for customer orders and postage and packaging.
I also spent some time doing remnant bundling which is when a colour scheme is selected and offcuts are sized up to add into bundles that can be purchased from the website or in the small showroom at the front of the studio.
I also had a chance this week to watch a previous intern make a small repeat of a stencil she produced in the course of the time with Ink & Spindle, we were allowed time to sit with our sketchbooks and map out possible designs that may be incorporated into a print if we have time at the end of the internship.

Remnant bundling.

Time to sit with a cup of tea and do some pattern sketching.

Close up of the swatches I printed on various materials for some of the new colours in their range.

Hanging out in the print room.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Internship week 1

In the initial week of my Ink & Spindle internship I was introduced to many aspects of the company, how they works and what their ethics are and everyone in the studios. Lara and Caitlin are the designers and owners of the label and studio and work 3 days per week between caring for family and doing at home administrative tasks. They told me to feel free to ask many questions so that I did as I am very interested to see the inner workings of a studio that prints for product and customers as well as designs and prints everything themselves. I was called apon to do various tasks including washing out the screens after use, printing swatches, cutting fabric for customer orders, packaging orders, bundling fabric remnants for the showroom and other adhoc duties and this will generally be how the internship will play out for the 6 days that I am onsite.
I did some investigation into the company after I went home and found some really good videos about the process that they use to print and the ideas behind how the company was set up and how it functions. The videos are slightly old so the studio is now a lot more full with things and a general buzz. Also Tegan who originally started the company with Lara left last year to pursue a life in Berlin and Caitlin took over from her in the business so here is some footage to enjoy.

The first video closely documents the printing process used in the studio and the other two include interviews, studio shots and a look at the design programs they use also.

Others for your enjoyment.



The ink wall.


Ink & Spindle Internship: week 1

I started a internship with company Ink & Spindle recently. They are a boutique textile print company based in the leafy inner Melbourne suburb of Kensington. The studio is based in a beautiful old warehouse not far from the train station and has a great view over the city. As you walk into the studios there are racks of screens with many different designs printed, a large cabinet of mixed and pre-mixed ink colours, a huge garment yardage table taking up the centre of the room and over the other side is a little corner with a vintage couch for tea, lunches and meetings. The office in the next room where alot of administrative work is done is also shared with a few other creative professionals.
Ink & Spindle try to keep things as ethical as possible, using sustainable practice where they can and sourcing fabrics and inks with this in mind. They do customer orders and also have a small showroom set up near the entrance for random drop in customers.


 Here is a little collage featuring a few of the new colours that I printed swatches for, including
- Cockatoo &
- Bluestone
They have a new range of colours out including Riversalt, Audrey and others I was to make swatch samples on the 4 different fabrics they use for customer requests so this was a day 1 job for me to get my head around.
Also in the photo is:
-The view out of the window towards the city, lovely atmosphere for a workplace.
-A view across the main studio area towards the corner where all the reams of printed fabrics are kept for customer sales.
-A look at the ink wall and the size of the screens that the meters are printed off (and)
-The corner of the room houses a textiles and printing library with loads of little resource books.

This is a photo of the used backing sheet on the print table, a delightful motif though entirely accidental and reused over and over to protect the sticky table from ink stains. It is a art piece in its own right I think!

A cheeky shot of me standing n front of the yardage table where all the printing is done, the fabric above is drying and in the background is the screen washout area.
Fabric rolls in the print room.

Here are the pretty flowers someone delivered - housed in the reading corner. In the background are some more
swatch colours that I hand screen printed last week.